HAPHC: Health & Academic Performance with Happy Children


Private Pädagogische Hochschule Graz
Projektleitung gesamt
Goswami, Nandu; Assoz. Prof. Priv.-Doz. Dr.med. Dr.med.univ. MMedSci PhD
Schmid-Zalaudek, Karin; Mag.a Dr.in
Projektleitung intern
Steinlechner, Petra; Dr.rer.nat. Prof.
Interne Projektmitarbeiter/innen
Krenn, Eleonore; HS-Prof. OStR Mag. Dr.
Schwarzl, Daniela; Prof. BEd Mag.
Externe Projektmitarbeiter/innen
2020 – 2021
Siehe Abstract Englisch
Beschreibung (engl.)
The Health and Academic Performance with Happy Children (HAPHC) study aims to improve learning as well as promote health and integrate the physical activity into regular curricula through internationally and transculturally transferable PAAC materials and procedures developed in HAPHC project. By replacing theoretical activities with a school-based physical activity program within the curriculum (PAAC) the children will attend PA while learning their curriculum. Using schools as an intervention arena reaches all socioeconomic layers with the potential of reducing inequality in health. Specifically, the project will evaluate the effects of a large scale longitudinal intervention. The focus is the following thematic areas, i) learning and cognition, ii) nutrition and growth, including obesity, iii) physical activity and physical health, iv) mental health and quality of life. Both gender pupils will perform the same PAAC learning through the project. This will empower girls and boys from different socio-economic, cultural and health status settings and contexts to perform physical activity while learning. About equal number of women and men are represented among the research and teaching staff.

This application adheres well to the Erasmus+ program plan’s main aim to improve public health, quality of life and reduce social and cultural inequality in health. HAPHC emphasizes the prioritized thematic areas given in the call for development, implementation and evaluation the effect of health promoting and academic enhancement. The aim is to promote public health within physical activity, inactivity, diet and prevention of non-communicable diseases among children throughout elementary schools. The project includes partners from different sectors, such as academia, municipality and public health service and thereby creates a cross-sectional collaborative network of highly skilled expertise in a Pan-European study. The intervention holds the potential for implementation at an international level based on scientific evidence, and the project as a whole will additionally provide important knowledge to the literature.

HAPHC will focus on a new pedagogical approach, PAAC, on a large scale implementation in elementary schools across four European countries: Norway, Austria, Slovenia and Belgium. Some schools have been selected and recruited in preparation phase and are already part of the consortium. There is a global need for public efforts to halt the increasing prevalence of overweight and obesity among children as well as other non-communicable diseases. This study will draw attention from policy makers, media, teachers, parents and children to improve and promote better health among children in Europe. There is a need to promote health at an early age to provide the best possibilities to each individual for a healthy and productive life, as well as for society to have healthy, hardworking citizens that may contribute to building society. There is also the need to change the sedentary learning practices that are not giving best learning and health results. The study’s thematic areas allow the investigation of different factors relation to learning as well as the others secondary health outcomes. Mental health among children and adolescents has for good reason been put high on the political agenda though its important role for future health and productivity. This project is in accordance with the need for population-based longitudinal research on mental health, including assessment of risk factors that have the potential to be strengthened or changed to inform intervention strategies designed to promote positive development and well-being in children and integration among children. Also, the study evaluates possible effects on mental health from a school based longitudinal intervention.